Last week was my housemate Neil’s birthday. We had Nepalese food for dinner with a bunch of our Buddhists friends while admiring the Himalayas. On a wall on Sherpa Kitchen. I’ve walked countless times past this restaurant but didn’t really felt compelled to try it, despite the fact that it seems very authentic. The pictures on the walls, the mountains covered in snow, the music, the staff, every detail transports you to Nepal.
Mo Mos (steamed pastry dumplings with minced chicken or vegetables), were a popular entrée that night. Gary and Jane shared two chicken and two vegetarian Mo Mos, Neil had four vegetarians. They came with a deep yellow dipping sauce. Not sure what was in it.
Chicken Mo Mo ($8.50 for 4 pieces)
Vegetarian Mo Mo ($8.50 for 4 pieces)
Bonnie and I shared a plate of Choyala Beef (Nepalese style grilled beef mixed with chopped ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander and tempered with turmeric oil). The turmeric oil sounded promising but we should have known better and ordered the chicken instead of beef. The meat was extremely tough, which often happens in “budget” Asian restaurants. The sauce was quite hot and with an ok taste; a more tender meat would have made the dish more enjoyable.
Choyala Beef ($8.50)
I found the curries menu very detailed regarding dish descriptions and heat profile (mild, med, hot). They also mention the region where the dish comes from, which can be handy for travellers. Bonnie and I shared two mains: Prawn Malekhu (mildly spiced fragrant coconut based sauce) and Lamb Saag (tender diced lamb cooked with freshly ground baby spinach in mild flavours). We both liked more the prawn curry, partially because we both love prawns but also because the sauce was more flavourful. On the flip side, the dish only had 5 prawns. The lamb dish was ok, the flavours were indeed very mild. We did need to ask for salt, as it was very underseasoned. The meat was tender but again not very generous in quantity.
Prawn Malekhu ($18.00)
Lamb Saag ($16.00)
Neil and Norris shared the Goat Curry (Nepalese traditional slow cooked goat curry in a masala made from fresh coconut, green chilli & ginger) and the Butter Chicken (pieces of chicken thigh fillet cooked in smooth creamy tomato sauce, bit sweetened with honey, flavoured with aromatic methi leaves & garnished with slivered almonds). Both were great, although the butter chicken a bit too sweet for my taste.
Goat Curry ($16.00)
Butter Chicken ($14.90)
Neil had a bowl of basmati rice ($3.00) and Norris a bowl of saffron rice ($6.00).
Jane ordered the Terai Beef (a unique combination of fresh coconut, diced beef, ginger and potato in a mild sauce) which looked great and Gary another Butter Chicken. They mopped their sauces up with garlic roti ($3.50) and cheese roti ($4.00).
Terai Beef ($14.90)
Alvaro arrived a bit late from work so I ordered his dish: Chow Chow Chicken (stir fried noodles, chicken with cauliflower, carrot, peas and green beans with a touch of soy & tomato sauce). Out of the three mild options it sounded like the one he’d like the most. I was wrong. The serving was little, it had raw onions on top (he hates them) and he told me it was too oily.
Chow Chow Chicken ($14.90)
Still hungry and disappointed with his meal, Alvaro ordered dessert: Himalayan Mango Ice Cream (homemade and with fresh mango). He liked it, although I think he would have preferred a scoop of gelato.
Himalayan Mango Ice Cream ($5.00)
Gary ordered the Himalayan Pistachio Ice Cream, which looked anything like ice cream. At first sight it looked like ocopa to me and Alvaro (Google it and you’ll see). Gary tried it and said it was weird, it wasn’t cold, and had a grainy texture, like dry cottage cheese. It wasn’t very sweet either. Needless to say, it was left almost untouched.
Himalayan Pistachio Ice Cream ($5.00)
165 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9519 7153